Eskom optimistic despite Moody’s downgrade

Thursday, March 29, 2018

While disappointed with Moody’s decision to downgrade it, Eskom on Thursday said it is optimistic that its credit profile will improve. 

This as the rating agency downgraded to ‘B2 from B1’ Eskom’s long-term corporate family rating (CFR).

The zero coupon eurobonds rating has similarly been revised to ‘B2’ from ‘B1’ in line with the CFR and the global medium term note (GMTN) programme and the senior unsecured GMTNs of Eskom were also downgraded to ‘(P)B3/B3 from (P)B2/B2’. The outlook is negative.

“While we are disappointed with Moody’s decision at this stage, the future looks promising. We have addressed the liquidity issue and other key challenges. The new Board and Eskom leadership are swiftly moving into the second intervention stage by formulating an integrated strategy that will yield favourable results.

“The positive sentiments expressed by Moody’s encourage us to work even harder to ensure the execution of this strategy. I am confident that we will stabilise the credit profile of Eskom and improve its credit rating,” said Eskom’s Interim Group Chief Executive, Phakamani Hadebe.

The rating agency acknowledged the positive strides that the new Board and the new Interim Group Chief Executive have made in the two-month period that they have led the organisation.

The three issues of concern raised by the rating agency centre around the inadequate tariff increases in the face of flat demand, no tangible government support and a lack of a resilient business strategy that will ensure Eskom’s sustainability.

Hadebe said the board is investing a considerable amount of time in formulating a comprehensive long-term strategy and plan that will place Eskom’s business on a firmer footing.

In February the power utility noted Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P)’s decision to downgrade its rating to ‘CCC+’ largely due to its liquidity challenges.

S&P’s downgrade followed a Fitch Ratings downgrade of the utility in January. - SAnews.gov.za

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